Tags: Beer, fireworks, history, holidays, independence-day, revolutionary war
A few facts about Independence Day:
- The Continental Congress unanimously voted for Independence from England on July 2nd, 1776.
- Most everyone remembers that John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration, given his large signature at the bottom. Most have forgotten that he was the President of the Continental Congress.
- The written Declaration of Independence is dated July 4th, 1776, however, that “final” Declaration wasn’t actually signed until August 2nd, 1776 in Philadelphia, PA, thanks in no small part to staunch opposition of Independence by the New York colony (who favored reconciliation).
- Five delegates signed after the August 2nd, 1776 party. These included Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Matthew Thornton and Thomas McKean.
- The official, printed copies approved by the Continental Congress omitted the signature Delaware’s Thomas McKean — being the last to sign, well after August 2nd, 1776. Some early “final” copies show the number of signing delegates at 55 instead of 56.
- Four Continental Congress delegates opposed Independence (tho their States approved) and never signed: George Clinton (New York), Robert R. Livingston (New York), Thomas Willing (Pennsylvania), and John Dickinson (Delaware).
- The American Revolutionary War ended with the signing of Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783. That’s when we actually gained our Independence.
- Thomas Jeffersion and John Adams, considered two of the three writers of the Declaration of Independence (along with Ben Franklin), both coincidentally died on July 4th, 1826 — the 50th anniversary of the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
- Despite being adopted as a Federal Holiday by Congress in 1870, it took until 1938 for Congress to declare Independence Day a Paid Federal Holiday.
History notes over. Happy Indepedence Day! You can now return to your family, friends, fireworks, barbecue and beer.